A national-level Protest Dharna was organised at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, by the AIDSO on 5 April 2022 against ruinous National Education Policy 2020. Prof. Nandita Narain, Professor, Delhi University and former president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), Prof. Sachidanand Sinha, Professor, JNU, Comrade Sourav Ghosh, General Secretary, AIDSO and student leaders from different states addressed the gathering. V.N Rajashekhar, National President of AIDSO presided over the Protest Dharna. Many eminent intellectuals had sent e messages supporting the movement of AIDSO.
In an interaction with the media persons, Comrade Sourav Ghosh, said that the NEP 2020 has been brought to destroy public education. Right from day one, AIDSO has been protesting against this disastrous policy. A delegation from the demonestration submitted a memorandum to the Education Ministry. AIDSO has announced to launch a Signature Campaign across the country and collect one crore signatures against NEP 2020.
Why is National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 disastrous
- NEP 2020 calls itself national, but framed without properly consulting the education-fraternity of the country.
2A. As prescribed in the NEP 2020, blended mode of teaching-learning involving both online and offline modes would eventually hinge more on online and thus would deprive large section of poor and underprivileged students who cannot afford to have smart phone or laptop. It would also lay red carpet for corporate houses associated with ‘education business’ to reap harvest.
2B. NEP 2020 thus aims at complete privatization, rather total corporatization of education pushing education beyond the reach of overwhelming majority of students.
3A. With uncritical glorification of education in ancient India, NEP 2020 promotes a so-called Indian Knowledge System (IKS).
3B. Within the purview of the IKS, history syllabus at all stages of study would be saffronized and communalized, teeming with distortion of facts and interpretations. Myths would be catered as history.
3C. Astrology, Vastu and such other non-scientific subjects would find place in the curriculum.
4A. NEP 2020 pledges ‘light but tight regulation’. But in the name of ‘one nation’, one entrance test like NEET or CUET, and lately Hindi as one official language and the likes, the government moves ahead towards centralizing all power, all processes, all measures, to implement the NEP 2020. It is a feature that humankind have already seen in fascistic countries.
4B. Centralization of power and control in education obviously violates academic autonomy.
5A. Entire reconfiguration of school education will increase the tenure and hence the cost making it difficult for poorer students to continue and eventually drop out.
5B. Introduction of ECCE will also increase the cost of education at the very early (pre-primary) stage of schooling; besides handing it over to already deprived, differently trained Anganwadi workers will ruin this education for common students. Kindergartens or the likes meant for the rich will prosper.
5C. No English till Class III, no specific well defined syllabus till Class V and no textbooks till Class VIII will ruin the standard and quality, the NEP 2020 appears to be so worried about.
5D. Lumping together of Secondary-Higher Secondary stages will increase the time and cost and will deprive needy students from availing of a end-school secondary certificate.
5E. All these, from 5A to 5D, will cause increased drop out, a menace for which the NEP 2020 has spent a lot of words.
6A. So-called multidisciplinary approach with multiple entry-exit are copy-pasted systems from other countries which will hinder development of integrated and cohesive thought process, right from school level.
6B. Introduction of vocational education right from class VI, a World Bank prescribed measure, will bring further ruination of comprehensive education and will simply produce human machines.
6C Introduction of 4-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) and Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) scheme, two other copy-paste exercises, will only lead to chaos, drop-out and decline in standard.
6D NEP 2020 is hypocritical, on the one hand glorifying Indian tradition and on the other hand copy-pasting systems made, even failed, in foreign lands.
- Last, and not the least important, the NEP 2020 totally throws away genuine secular-scientific, democratic and universal education and completely ignores the educationists-scientists-eminent personalities of our immediate past, from Rammohan, Vidyasagar, Jyotirao Phule, Lala Lajpat Rai, SN Bose, Mehgnad Saha, and such others who had fought life-long for such an education.